Sunday Seminar | Opening Base: Curating the Collection
17 Dec 2017

Teijin Auditorium
2:30 - 4 pm
Museumkaart €3,- / Student €10,50 / Regular € 20,50


During the STEDELIJK BASE opening weekend, the museum will organize a Sunday Seminar in which experts will discuss the exhibition’s context and offer critical analyses. What role does this collection presentation play in the new layout of the Stedelijk? What is the meaning of the experimental exhibition design? How does the exhibition relate to the broader debate on how to exhibit collections? How does the mix of art and design work? These and other issues will be discussed by curators, scholars and critics. Guest speakers are, among others: Rem Koolhaas (AMO/Remkoolhaas, exhibition architect), Ann Demeester (Frans Hals Museum | De Hallen Haarlem), Dr. Rachel Esner (University of Amsterdam), Dr. Fieke Konijn (VU University, Amsterdam), Madeleine van Lennep (BNO, The Association of Dutch Designers) and Federico Martelli (exhibition architect).


STEDELIJK BASE is the permanent installation of iconic works from the collection of the Stedelijk Museum. It occupies the entire new wing of the museum and features a selection of around 700 pieces grouped around historic movements, social themes, and influential artists.  All media are considered equally important, and are also in dialogue with each other. The exhibition design in the Lower Level Gallery has been developed by AMO/Rem Koolhaas together with Federico Martelli. It proposes an innovative way to present the permanent collection. Bold architecture and the latest technological developments combine to allow visitors to experience the collection through an open-ended route. The chronology can be followed on the perimeter, while freestanding walls in the middle create separate sectors highlighting groups of artworks that represent a specific theme or aspect of the collection.


STEDELIJK BASE is the finale of the museum’s revised spatial design; the building now has a clearer layout, and 70 percent of the museum’s space is devoted to the collection. While STEDELIJK BASE is devoted to the highlights (artworks in the art historical canon), STEDELIJK TURNS sheds light on hidden or suppressed stories, and unseen or rarely exhibited artworks. On the ground floor of the historic building, STEDELIJK TURNS presents a changing program of collection displays, each showcasing new perspectives, research, and topical themes.  These alternative perspectives will inspire changes in STEDELIJK BASE. Consequently, STEDELIJK BASE will be a dynamic, changing presentation that, over the next five years, will invite visitors to experience the transformation of the canon.


Issue #5 of Stedelijk Studies, a peer-reviewed online journal, appeared in fall 2017 and is dedicated to the theme “Curating the Collection.” This special issue, edited by Dr. Rachel Esner and Dr. Fieke Konijn, offers an overview of topical debates concerning collection presentations and includes a roundtable discussion that sheds light on the ideas behind STEDELIJK BASE and TURNS. More info.


2.30 welcome
2.40 roundtable: exhibition design & reseach
3.00 column: design perspectives
3.10 column: curating the collection perspective
3.20 roundtable: curating the collection 
3.50 questions from the audience
4.00 exhibition visit STEDELIJK BASE